Thursday, 27 April 2017

My Television Debut

Tim

There is something that you may not know about me but I have once appeared on tv!

Years ago I nursed an RAF pilot called Tim, who crashed  his Harrier Jumpjet. Typical of most servicemen that suffer a catastrophic spinal cord injury, Tim dealt with his injuries with a stoicism and bravery that was not only impressive but genuinely inspiring.
I remember one beer filled night when a dozen nurses accompanied a dozen patients to the pub which was located up a hill beyond the rehabilitation unit where we worked. After last orders as the nurses pushed their charges back to the wards, Tim organised the 'convoy' into an " aircraft V" formation with him leading the charge in the centre of the road and at full gallop the wheelchairs careered back down the hill .
It was a moment of pure , wonderful madness, with patients and nurses yelling and screaming at the top of their lungs as their wheelchairs bounced off each other and into the road, the grass verges and muddy ditches.
To me this is the essence of rehabilitation.
Risk taking, humour and a bit of stupid lunacy.

Anyhow I digress.......back to my one and only tv appearance!

Years after Tim's discharge from our unit the BBC featured his accident in one of their Emergency 999 programmes. As part of his story, a camera crew appeared on our unit to film some of the hospital based scenes of his rehab with an actor playing Tim in a wheelchair.

I was asked to feature in the fictional moment that Tim was mobilised in his wheelchair for the first time, so I donned my best, slightly tight, charge nurse uniform, made sure my hair was combed and squirted myself with aftershave and in front of an irritating ten year old director , I physically manhandled the 'paralyzed' actor from his bed and into his wheelchair by using a sliding board as the cameras rolled!
It was all very Hollywood, with me acting away with all the right phrases and caring expressions.
Meryl Streep couldn't have done any better.

Months later, the tv show aired and I sat for what seemed hours on my sofa for my big tv debut moment!
My scene lasted perhaps just ten seconds or so, and seemed to be totally filmed from behind.
And only one of my best friend's saw it.
He rang and told me honestly what he thought of my performance
" I saw your big fat arse on tv last night" he said dryly.

For Tim's story see
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/136189.stm

57 comments:

  1. I'm running again this year for Tim and people like him; people like my uncle a building inspector who ushered men to safety from a railway tunnel which he was last to leave and which collapsed on him causing spinal injuries.

    http://www.wingsforlifeworldrun/

    The British event is usually at Silverstone with David Coulthard in the driving seat.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That did bring back memories! No, not of your big fat *** ... I don't believe I saw your film debut but I do have vivid memories of Harrier Jump Jets taking off on a frequent basis when, decades ago, I was posted to RAF Wildenrath. I also remember the sad death of one pilot and the impact it had on us all. Tim was very lucky to survive, albeit with terrible spinal injuries.

    PS: My husband also had his moment in the sun. Back in the day when he was a young scientist he had a very brief appearance on 'Tomorrow's World'. Ah, those Glory Days :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. That's a sad story about Tim. I am glad he got the compensation from the MOD and he could get on with his life. Your time, and that of your colleagues, with him must have been very rewarding to see him so focused on recovery. My friend's husband was an RAF fighter pilot from RAF Coltishall and was killed on a training flight over Wales. I am sorry I missed your tv debut. Maybe there will be another time you will be on tv in the future and I will see that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel i have more to give!

      Delete
  4. Just ten seconds and no full face? Oh John, you didn't manage your fifteen minutes of fame !

    ReplyDelete
  5. According to well-known film critic, Donald Trump, Meryl Streep is rubbish so what does that say about your performance? Was the pub you referred to "The Rivelin" by any chance? Or maybe "The Bell Hagg Inn"?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The three merry lads yp

      Delete
    2. Oh..you were referring to Lodge Moor and not to King Edwards in the Rivelin Valley.

      Delete
    3. Yes the spinal unit was located on south 3,4 and 5 at lodge moor before transferring to its new unit at the Northern General

      Delete
  6. What I enjoyed even more than hearing that you were on tv (more or less), was what you and other nurses did for your patients. That you could provide for them, an evening of normalcy mixed with fun, was invaluable. I highly doubt that sort of thing would happen in hospitals here. -Jenn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We did a great deal more than what i have told you...it was expected and the norm

      Delete
  7. Well it did take up the whole screen didn't it - thank God this was the day before wide screen!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have always been rather cutting

      Delete
  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am sure the director said he was going to get your best side :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Your arse should get a lifetime achievement award.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It WAS voted best arse when i was in 6th form

      Delete
    2. Hopefully not by a member of staff.

      Delete
  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Don't feel bad -- television adds 10 pounds, they say!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 10 lbs to each cheek by the look of me

      Delete
  13. You've summed-up filming perfectly. You go through all the luvvy stuff, then appear from the back for 10 seconds.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I have been on the news twice, one where I did not know I was being filmed. I found out the next day through co-workers. The first had to do with Christmas shopping and the other one was during the Women's March where I gave my permission. I wish I hadn't. It is all in the editing.

    ReplyDelete
  15. When was the last time you didn't have a BFA?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Big fat arse?
      When i was 10

      Delete
  16. I was on the news a few times in the late 70's.
    It was during my 'bolshie' phase (although there are those who claim I'm still 'bolshie'...as if!!!) and I was often to be seen shouting at politicians, marching whilst carrying placards and often sitting in the road in front of diggers etc!
    My poor parents often felt that they had to apologise to friends and neighbours who had spotted me on TV behaving in a way 'inappropriate for a young lady'!
    Then, of course, I grew up, calmed down and had a family of my own.
    I haven't altogether quit on the protest front though, and can still be seen at public meetings, shouting at idiot local councillors!
    I avoid cameras of all kinds like the plague these days though, not being young and sylph like any longer! X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are never too old to wave a placard

      Delete
    2. HELL YEAH, JOHN! silence = acceptance, and WE SHALL NOT BE SILENT!

      Delete
  17. So...no TV commercials featuring rear ends for you????

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jay-lo has been on the phone looking for a bottom double

      Delete
  18. Why did you put after shave on?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm a professional! And you have to tuck the " patient's" head next to mine when transferring

      Delete
  19. John, you do have a way with words.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And a way with food remembering my arse on film

      Delete
  20. Ha! This is a classic Hollywood story -- the great debut, with all the pertinent footage left on the cutting room floor!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I always feel so bad for those cut off head shots of really fat people when they are doing a story on obesity. Somewhere the person sees their body and clothes and screams "That's Me!...OMG"! OK, my goal is never to have my head cut off on TV!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The news bulletins do this too!

      Delete
  22. Also appeared on TV. The programme was only aired in London and was about GP'S controlling their own budgets. I was young giggly blond and added a dash of lippie to look very ER as i took this poor foreign guys blood pressure a million times. I did look good though. Sadly Hollywood didn't come knocking. I also had my arm photographed taking blood.

    ReplyDelete
  23. At least you weren't doing a drug round.

    ReplyDelete
  24. It could be worse - the film editor could have decided to leave the whole scene out!

    ReplyDelete
  25. " I remember one beer filled night when a dozen nurses accompanied a dozen patients to the pub which was located up a hill beyond the rehabilitation unit where we worked. After last orders as the nurses pushed their charges back to the wards, Tim organised the 'convoy' into an " aircraft V" formation with him leading the charge in the centre of the road and at full gallop the wheelchairs careered back down the hill .
    It was a moment of pure , wonderful madness, with patients and nurses yelling and screaming at the top of their lungs as their wheelchairs bounced off each other and into the road, the grass verges and muddy ditches. "
    I loved reading this. You are a star John.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Not really your moment of glory then after all.

    ReplyDelete
  27. John, you do a good job of making others feel good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hummmmm i know many that would disagree!

      Delete
    2. 'GG' has done something for me that cbt failed to, Thank you.

      Delete
    3. And what was that my friend?

      Delete
    4. Kickstarted a desire to interact with others again.

      Delete
    5. Good.....in my experience most people are kind and nice and want the best of themselves and others.....

      Delete
  28. I'm sure you're perfect ass stole the show.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Your friends sound like my friends!

    ReplyDelete

I love comments and will now try very hard to reply to all of them
Please dont be abusive x